The Dallas Mavericks managed to retain backup point guard Devin Harris for a few more years in a very team-friendly deal. Reports say the 10 veteran point guard inked a three-year contract worth roughly $9 million, which is very similar to the deal he would have had in 2013 had it not been for his injured toe.
Last year after Harris had a dislocated to that dropped a three-year deal down one, because he was going to miss the first half of the season. Naturally, he got off to a slow start once he returned but by the end of the season and most certainly the playoffs, Harris had become a key component in the Mavs rotation. Harris also grew a strong report with center Brandan Wright, as the pair combined for beautifully run pick and rolls and highlight reel-worthy dunks.
The Harris signing in 2014 is even more dire than 2013 because of the loss of Jose Calderon. Before the trade for Tyson Chandler some would have still considered Harris to come off the bench. Now that Calderon and Shane Larkin are gone, the point guard responsibilities fall to Harris and troubled newcomer Raymond Felton. If last season is any indication of what Felton has left in the tank, I would assume Harris takes over the starting role-barring any further developments in free agency.
Over the course of the past week, Dirk Nowitzki received a lot of love from the fans for signing a deal that helped the team’s cap situation tremendously and still keeps the Mavs in the hunt for either a max-out player or a couple of strong role players. Harris deserves some of that love too. In this free agency period two players of similar caliber, Shaun Livingston and former Mav Darren Collison both signed for the full mid-level exception worth three years $16 million with the Warriors and Kings. After Harris’s late season surge, he easily could have moved on to another team to get paid.
While the Mavericks still have a lot of work to do in free agency, the signing of Devin Harris takes a huge load off of the questions at point guard. If Harris does turn into the team’s starter, it would be nice to have a better backup than Gal Mekel or Felton, but there are only so many spots left at the table.